(Translated version, original article written in Chinese by Pastor Mickey Hsiao)
By singing praises and hymns, awake your soul, open your heart to the Lord, and prepare yourself to welcome the presence of God and receive the Word of God that will be given to you.
Petition with thanksgiving to God for a wonderful day and pray sincerely for a focused Scripture reading time! (Do not rush into reading the Bible without starting with prayers!) (e.g., you may start with a simple prayer like this: “Dear Lord, what will you be speaking to me today?)
Get the following items ready in advance: your devotional notebook, paper, pen, and/or electronic devotional articles so that you can easily write down the Bible verses, questions, and thoughts you have noticed! You are encouraged to open your Bible and vocally read out the scriptures (Try to practice this reading method daily or once a week)!
Scripture Reading: Matthew Ch. 4 (ESV)
Take a moment to quietly reflect on today’s Scriptures. Through such exercises, let God’s Word be gradually written into our hearts and be inscribed to our mind.
Read the devotional articles prepared by CBCLWA (*Read the Bible first before reading any devotional materials.)
(Mt. 4:1-11) Jesus was tempted by the cunning Satan through several different ways:
- A challenge toward his needs of human: After having had fasted in the wilderness for forty days and nights, Jesus was asked by Satan to turn stones into loaves of bread to eat. Jesus was tempted for his physical need – hunger;
- An attempt to provoke his relationship with God: Jesus was tempted by Satan who lied to Jesus through misinterpreting the Scripture. With the intent to provoke Jesus’ relationship with God, Satan told Jesus that God will command angles to hold him up if Jesus were to throw himself down on the pinnacle of the temple.
- A provision for a shortcut to get honors: Satan declared that all the nations and the greatness of the world will be given to Jesus, as long as Jesus is willing to bow down to him.
What can we learn from Jesus’ responses? In the face of trial, Jesus have done these things:
- Use God’s Word to overcome the weakness of human; “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Mt. 4:4)
- Use God’s Word to correct an inappropriate reference; “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.” (Mt. 4:7)
- Use God’s Word to strengthen the focus of his lifetime ministry with submission to the Lord. “You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.” (Mt. 4:10)
In the end, Jesus said to Satan, “Be gone, Satan!” “Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him” (Mt. 4:10). Jesus gave us the best demonstration of how to face a temptation.
Dear brothers and sisters, we are the chosen people of God (1 Peter 2:9). God also has His plans for us. The more you read the Bible, the better you will know God’s will. God’s Word is powerful, which can help you rely on the Lord so that you may conquer your desires of flesh and be delivered from temptations and suffering of evils. Let’s learn from Jesus and his obedience to God’s commands, living a life that is pleasing to God’s eyes and fulfilling our missions given by God.
(Mt. 4:12-25) When Jesus called his first group of disciples, Peter and Andrew were casting a fishing net and James and John were preparing their fishing nets. All of them put down their work and immediately followed Jesus. Then Jesus began to travel through Galilee, teaching the people and preaching the gospel of heaven. In addition to Jesus’ disciples, many others also followed Jesus, including those once with disease and sickness that were healed by Jesus and those once demon-possessed that were freed by Jesus. The power and authority of Jesus have transformed the lives of these disciples and these people, ultimately changing the goals of their lives.
Gospel truly is good news, like a light shining into the darkness, bringing people hope. Gospel is good because it is by God’s full grace that anyone who is willing to repent of their sins and believe in Jesus can now be
reconciled with the everlasting God forever – a brand new path!
What was Jesus’ message when he began preaching? “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand! (Mt. 4:17)” – That should also be the focus in our preaching of the gospel for the Lord! Are there any people around you that are still living in the darkness (spiritually) – those who have not seen the light of Jesus? Put down what’s at your hand today, pray for that individual, evangelize to that person, and give that person an opportunity to come to Jesus!
Give thanks to God for His enabling us to read the Scriptures and for our response for living out the Word of God today! (e.g., You may start with a simple prayer like this: “Dear Lord, what/where are you going to lead me to today?”)